A candidate in a runoff for mayor of Georgia’s third-largest city announces a plan to redevelop a site where a shopping center had been long vacant until 2020.

Augusta’s Steven Kendrick made the announcement last week, along with several Augusta commissioners.

The redevelopment plan for the Regency Mall site would include 1,000 two-bedroom apartments, a K-12 school, a 300-seat performing arts center, a restaurant, a grocery store and a fitness center, media reports.

“The growth and revitalization of South Augusta is just beginning,” Kendrick told local media as he unveiled plans for what would be called Cardinal Town Square.

Kendrick, the former Richmond County tax commissioner, is running June 21 with Garnett Johnson for mayor of the consolidated city-county. The third-place runner-up endorsed Johnson last week. Kendrick and Johnson each got around 39% of the vote on May 24.

An architect who helped draw up plans told WRDW-TV the redevelopment would cost between $100 million and $175 million.

What was once a major retail draw stood vacant for nearly two decades before demolition began in 2020. Nearby business owners say they saw the area decline over the period. Most of the Augusta area’s suburban growth occurred in Columbia County during the period.

Many ideas have been floated to reuse the land, but Kendrick said this one was supported by the owners.

“I realize there may be skepticism but this opportunity is different and the actual plans have been submitted to Augusta Planning and Development for approval of this transformation project from work carried out by architects and local engineers,” he said.

For now, Kendrick said private money will pay for the redevelopment. But Kendrick is also chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority. He said the authority was not asked about the bonds to finance the project.